Securities Mergers & Acquisitions Civil Procedure

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Have Your Directors Met Their Revlon Duties? Delaware Court Dismisses Strike-Suit Allegations as Merely Cosmetic

In a virtual course on how to bring—or not bring—an M&A strike suit, on June 30, a Delaware Chancery Court dismissed all shareholder claims against a merger target and its acquirer, ending nearly two years of litigation. ...more

The Resilient Rights Plan: Recent Poison Pill Developments and Trends

Shareholder rights plans were developed more than 30 years ago to fend off opportunistic hostile offers and other abusive takeover transactions. Rights plans deter unauthorized stock accumulations by imposing substantial...more

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

Are Fairness Opinions Admissible on a Plan of Arrangement Hearing?

Differing viewpoints have recently arisen in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) as to whether fairness opinions are admissible during court approval of plans of arrangement. In Champion Iron Mines Limited...more

Delaware Court Clarifies Director and Officer Liability in M&A Transactions

In Chen v. Howard-Anderson, 87 A.3d 648 (Del. Ch. 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Laster, V.C.) held that directors and officers can be held liable for their participation in a change-of-control transaction if their...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Invalidates Consent Due to Inadequate Disclosures

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently invalidated a written consent of a Delaware pharmaceutical corporation due to inadequate disclosures to stockholders. ...more

Courts Uphold Use of Fairness Opinions at Hearings to Approve Plans of Arrangement

On April 7, 2014, Osler commented on the decision of Justice David Brown of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in Re Champion Iron Mines Limited. In that case, the Court held that a fairness opinion from...more

Recent Developments Relating to Hostile Deals in the US

In November 2013, Men’s Wearhouse made an unsolicited offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank, just weeks after rejecting a hostile offer from Jos. A. Bank. Jos. A. Bank initially rejected the “Pac Man” counteroffer, but ultimately...more

Inside The Courts - May 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 2

In This Issue: - AUDITOR LIABILITY: ..Athale v. Sinotech Energy Ltd., No. 11 Civ. 05831(AJN) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 21, 2014) - BYLAWS: ..ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund (German Tennis...more

Seventh Circuit Interprets ERISA’s Statute of Limitations for Fiduciary Breach: Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, No. 12-3330 (7th Cir. May 14, 2014), has issued a decision that clarifies the rules for suits for fiduciary breach under ERISA. The decision primarily...more

Shareholder Activism in Germany Following Takeover Announcements

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of activist investors building up considerable stakes in German listed companies in the context of public takeovers. One reason for this...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Underscores Heightened Pleading Standard Necessary to Support a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty In...

In Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8898-VCG, 2014 WL 1478511 (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) granted, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by certain directors and the financial advisor...more

Chen v. Howard-Anderson: A Study in the Standards of Review and of D&O Conduct in the Merger Context

Litigation over challenges to corporate mergers has swelled in recent years, exposing directors, officers and their D&O insurers to large amounts of defense costs and potentially great liability. The Delaware Chancery Court...more

Third Point LLC V. Ruprecht; Two-Tiered Poison Pill Withstands Judicial Review

In Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht, et al., C.A. No. 9469-VCP (Del.Ch. May 2, 2014), the Delaware Chancery Court denied a preliminary injunction challenging Sotheby’s stockholder rights plan, or so-called “poison pill,” which...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court Upholds Sotheby’s Poison Pill Defense Against Activist Citing “Negative Control” As A Corporate Threat

In a May 2, 2014 ruling relating to activist hedge fund Third Point LLC’s proxy battle with auction house Sotheby’s, the Delaware Chancery Court found that Third Point was not likely to succeed in its argument that the...more

Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8897-VCG (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the board failed to satisfy its Revlon duties in good faith and to negotiate consideration for alleged derivative claims that...more

Business Court Dismisses Derivative Action Against Duke Energy

You might remember the derivative action filed against the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation stemming from its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. It received a lot of publicity. The merger was concluded long ago,...more

M&A Update: Chancery Court Provides Another Lesson For A Reasonable Sale Process

In a recent decision, Chen v. Howard-Anderson, the Delaware Chancery Court once again questioned the reasonableness of how a board conducted the sale of a company when it permitted stockholder claims to go to trial....more

SEC Settles Five Insider Trading Actions, Cooperation Key

The Commission filed two groups of settled insider trading actions centered on the merger of eBay, Inc. with Pennsylvania based e-commerce company GSI Commerce, Inc., announced on March 28, 2011. The first group traces to...more

Mergers & Acquisitions Alert: Controlling Stockholder Squeeze-Outs May Be Structured to Achieve Deferential “Business Judgment...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. (Del. Mar. 14, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court recently decided that a going private transaction sponsored by the controlling stockholder of a Delaware corporation may, under certain...more

A Million Dollars In Fees For Class Counsel in Wachovia/Wells Fargo Merger Lawsuit

When I first looked at Judge Murphy's (unpublished) Order in Ehrenhaus v. Baker earlier this month awarding attorneys' fees to the class action attorneys who sued Wachovia and Wells Fargo over their merger in 2008, I was...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - April 2014

In this issue: - News from the Courts - News from the Regulators - Tax News - Notable Pending Deals - Contributors - Excerpt from News from the Courts: Delaware Court of...more

Update: Landmark Decision By Delaware's High Court Affirms Deferential Business Judgment Review For Controlling Stockholder...

Last summer, in our post titled Protecting Your Business Judgment: Recent Developments in Delaware Law on M&A Deals Involving Controlling Stockholders, we alerted you that two trial courts in the nation’s leading forum for...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 7, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery held a financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by a target board in the sale of the company. The Court concluded that the financial...more

Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. The Delaware Supreme Court Affirms In re MFW Holding That a Going-Private Transaction May Gain the...

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court decided Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. and unanimously affirmed the Chancery Court’s ruling in In re MFW. As we discussed previously, in In re MFW, then-Chancellor (now Chief Justice)...more

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